Your guide to seasonal home maintenance

Your guide to seasonal home maintenance

As a homeowner, you should begin every season with some preventative home maintenance measures. Here are some interesting tips we recently came across courtesy of

Let’s start with winter, since that’s the season we recently entered, and some easy indoor tips. Check grout and drains in the bathroom, and repair as needed. Grease noisy door hinges and sticking locks, and travel down to the basement for cleaning and an overall inspection. Finally, reinforce leaky seals around doors and windows.

When spring arrives, check your home’s exterior for holes in brick, cracks in siding or other damage, and inspect the foundation for cracks. Silicone caulking can repair many minor issues. Also, inspect your roof and while you’re up there, clean out the gutters. Have your air conditioning unit services so it’s ready for summer.

In the summer months, stay on top of pest control and inspect the deck and/or patio. Check your exterior vents and clear them out if needed. Also, look for plumbing issues such as leaky pipes or poor water pressure.

And finally, during the fall season, keep up with leaf raking to avoid killing your grass, and have your furnace serviced for winter. Cover your A/C unit to protect it from the elements, and have your chimney cleaned if you have a fireplace.

These are just some basic tips to get you started. Feel free to add on depending on your overall comfort level with maintenance projects.

Tips for sellers: Upgrade the kitchen, downgrade the personal stuff

Tips for sellers: Upgrade the kitchen, downgrade the personal stuff

NEW OLEAR BANNERWhile the key to a man’s heart may be through his stomach, the key to selling a home is often through the kitchen!

Do your countertops appear outdated? How about your appliances? If you answered yes, then it’s probably a good idea to spend a few dollars for an upgrade before putting the home on the market. How do the walls look? A fresh coat of paint in a neutral color can also go a long way. Fortunately, of the money you spend to freshen up the kitchen, you’ll probably get 85 percent of it back in the sale price … not to mention the other benefit of a quicker sale.

Another tip to help sell your home more quickly is to remove a lot of your personal items — such as family photos and heirlooms — so that potential homebuyers can easily picture themselves living there. You may also want to enlist the help of a professional home stager for pointers on getting the full value of your home when you decide to stick the “for sale” sign in the ground.

The Olear Team is extremely knowledgeable of the home selling process and can share numerous tips that will help ensure a quick and profitable sale. Please contact us today for more information!

Tips for sellers: Upgrade the kitchen, downgrade the personal stuff

Don’t let foul odors turn your sale sour

NEW OLEAR BANNERYou’ve had your eye on a particular house for ages, and suddenly you see a for sale sign on the front lawn. All is good in the world … until you step inside and are unpleasantly blindsided by foul odors that can turn a sweet sale sour in the blink of an eye.

The causes can be numerous: a poorly trained pooch or kitty, sweaty sports equipment, foul foods, garbage that should have been taken to the curb days ago or even a stinky sink. Some fixes are easy, while others might take some time and effort to repair.

If you’re the seller in this case, before you put your home on the market, ask a friend or relative to stop by and conduct a smell test. Have them walk through the entire house to see if they get a whiff of anything on the unpleasant side. And if that’s the case, take measures to eliminate the cause asap. It could very well be a simple fix such as opening the windows to air out the house or taking out the garbage a day or two ahead of schedule.

Pet odors can be a little more difficult. There are sprays on the market that could help, but you may be better off replacing or removing a soiled rug or carpet if your pet has had multiple accidents.

The same goes for the buyer. If you notice something in the air that’s just not right, be sure to discuss it with your Realtor who has likely dealt with similar experiences on more than one occasion. WIth any luck, the fix will be quick and painless and will not foul up a potential sale.

For more information on preparing your home prior to the sale, please contact The Olear Team today!

Tips for sellers: Upgrade the kitchen, downgrade the personal stuff

Entire neighborhoods, home sellers, benefit from the efforts of nonprofit organizations

NEW Olear cover photoPreparing your home for sale may entail a little elbow grease to get the place into tip-top shape, or pretty close to it. But some of those repairs may require expensive tools that you don’t have and simply don’t want to invest in. There is an alternative — the University Heights Tool Library!

According to its website — — the Tool Library is a nonprofit program set up to lend tools out to community members to help them maintain and fix up their homes and gardens. Tools can range anywhere from hammers, screwdrivers and shovels to power drills, circular saws and sanders. Open to homeowners and renters in Buffalo and surrounding areas, annual membership in this innovative community beautification program is just $10!

And speaking of the University Heights neighborhood, the University Heights Collaborative is another community based group of residents working together to maintain and enhance the quality of life in their neighborhood. Organizational committees include beautification, business involvement, communication, Neighborhood Watch and landlord outreach. More information can be found on their website at

Western New York is fortunate to have such progressive community organizations that truly take an interest in keeping our neighborhoods beautiful by fostering cooperation and collaboration among neighbors. When everyone pitches in, everyone wins, and housing prices increase as a result!

For more information on readying your house for sale, please contact The Olear Team today!

Primer is the key to a successful paint job

Behind every stunning paint job is the primer that lays beneath it. Primer ensures that the paint sticks to the walls and retains a uniform appearance throughout. Also, be sure to clean and repair any surfaces before applying the primer.

From Home Depot:

Step 1: Tint primer for best results

Most primers can be tinted, and tinting will ensure good coverage for the finish coat. But too much tint will dilute the primer and reduce its efficiency. Ask your store associate for assistance determining exactly what you need.

Step 2: Spray roller or brush

Dampen your roller or brush to get off to a fast start. Use water for latex paints, paint thinner for alkyd or oil-based paints.

Step 3: Cut in corners

Pick your starting point and cut in (apply paint at all corners or places where walls, moulding and ceilings meet) the corner with a 2-inch sash brush or a corner pad. Cut in the first 3 to 4 feet along the ceiling, too.

Step 4: Roll on Primer

Apply the primer using a 9-inch roller with the appropriate nap. Start with a single vertical strip at the cut-in corner.

Step 5: Paint a “W” pattern

Roll the remaining wall in 3′ x 3′ sections, working from top to bottom. Lay the primer down in a “W,” then fill in the gaps without lifting the roller.

5 Low cost upgrades, with potential High returns

When putting your house on the market, it is vital to have it shown in its best possible light. The key however, is figuring out how to achieve this without breaking the bank. Consumer Reports provides the following agenda, for finding that perfect balance.

  1. Freshen up the bath: $300-$1,000
  2. Paint the rooms- selectively: $100 (DIY)-$1,000 (Pro)
  3. Clean up, clear out; smells and clutter: $0 (DIY)-$2,500 (Pro)
  4. Enhance the exterior: $150-$7,500
  5. Spruce up the kitchen: $300-$5,000

For complete descriptions on each, as well as potential returns, check out the following link from Consumer Reports here.